Psychologist and science historian Shermer has put together fourteen articles and personal essays that he has written over the past decade in order to examine how science operates under pressure, during controversies and on the precipice of the unknown. He dons several personas throughout the book—as a scientist, he pretends to be a psychic for a day and fools everyone; as a young, impressionable athlete, he discovers that good-luck rituals may, or may not, improve his performance; as a historian, he decides to analyze the data to see who was truly responsible for the Bounty mutiny; and as the skeptic, he realizes that it is time to turn the skeptical lens onto science itself.
Throughout each of the essays, Shermer asks: What do we know and what do we not know? How does science respond to controversy, attack and uncertainty? When does theory become accepted fact? As always, he delivers a thought-provoking, fascinating and entertaining view of life in the scientific age.